Is An SUV Or Minivan The Right Choice For My Family?

Is An SUV Or Minivan The Right Choice For My Family Tags:

Choosing a new vehicle is a big decision, especially if you are considering a vehicle large enough to accommodate several members of your family. As automobiles are advancing people are faced with the option of choosing a minivan or an SUV that has three rows of seating. Both are able to accommodate 7 passengers and both will successfully take everyone from point A to point B. So what are the major differences between the two and how do you choose the right vehicle? Below, we examine a few points to consider so that you can find the right vehicle to suit your needs.


The price of the vehicle can be a big deciding factor and, for most people, where the decision making process will begin and end. While the price for SUVs with three rows of seating starts at a cheaper price point than minivans, when comparing similar sizes of vehicles the minivan is the clear winner. For example, a Toyota Sienna starts at about $28,000 while the similarly sized Toyota Highlander begins at $30,000.

Fuel Economy:

How quickly your vehicle is going to burn through fuel should also be considered and can even be rolled up in the total price of the vehicle. Hands down the winner in this category is the minivan. There are only a handful of SUVs on the market today that can beat the minivans for highway mileage and only the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is able to beat the minivan’s city fuel economy. With changing designs and the move toward crossover models, many SUVs are becoming lighter and thus more fuel efficient.


You are transporting your loved ones day in and day out so it makes sense that safety will be a huge determining factor for your next vehicle. Both the SUV and the minivan have pros and cons. The SUV, usually built on a large truck frame, often withstands accidents better, able to take the brunt force of the accident and distribute it throughout the frame. But, being larger can mean that the SUV is more top heavy and prone to roll overs. The minivan on the other hand has received countless awards for safety ratings. If you live in an area that regularly sees inclement weather the SUV will out perform a minivan any day of the week. What it comes down to really is the individual model. If you are trying to decide between two options the best bet is to compare safety ratings for the specific models in question.


When comparing available volume within the vehicle the minivan far surpasses the space available in even the largest SUV. The biggest difference comes in the space between the front row and second row of seating. When loading the vehicle the minivan also has more options for cargo space. Many minivans have third rows of seating that are easy to fold down, while some models,  like the Chrysler Pacifica, have the option to fold the second row of seating flat also. While SUVs certainly have the capabilities to fold the third row of seating flat, the process is cumbersome and the overall volume it produces is much smaller than in a minivan.